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When Western Sahara was annexed by Morocco in 1975, it had been under Spanish control for nearly a century.In 1975, the International Court of Justice affirmed the Saharawi people's right to self-determination, and found no ties of territorial sovereignty between Morocco and Western Sahara.Yet Morocco has been allowed to continue illegally occupying Western Sahara for over four decades. In the 42 years of Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara, we, the Saharawi people, have seen eight American presidents, six U.N. secretary-generals, and a battery of U.N. special representatives and personal envoys of the secretary-general come and go.The Security Council recognizes that this is the best route to achieving decolonization in Western Sahara, protecting human rights, enabling self-determination by the Saharawi people and setting the stage for long-term stability in the territory.Last December, the European Court of Justice joined the ICJ in stating unequivocally that Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara – a move that could pose a significant challenge to Morocco's relationship with the European Union.Over the last four decades, the U.N. Security Council has repeatedly proved unwilling or unable to bring Morocco to the negotiating table. We, the people of Western Sahara, hope that this time will be different.
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